San Luis Obispo-based Team HTC-Columbia wins another stage at Tour de France

Mark Cavendish of San Luis Obispo-based Team HTC-Columbia made it two in a row in the Tour de France, winning today’s sixth stage with another powerful sprint to the finish.

Following the lead of teammate Mark Renshaw, the 25-year-old Cavendish jumped from the sprint pack in the final 100 meters and held off American Tyler Farrar of the Garmin-Transitions team.

The performance mirrored what Cavendish did on Thursday, when he captured his first victory in this year’s Tour. That took off pressure that had been building on the young Briton because he had failed to win a sprint in the previous days of racing.

Today’s stage was the longest of this year’s tour, covering 141.3 miles from Montargis to Gueugnon. The stage was mostly flat, which favored sprinters.

The standings didn't change, with Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara retaining the overall leader's yellow jersey. Defending champion Alberto Contador remained ninth. Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong was 18th.

Barring a crash or mishap, overall standings rarely change much on such a flat stage. Strong climbers are poised to take center stage once the three-week race enters the Alps on Sunday.

--Staff and wire reports